Domestic blackberry growers are hopeful that their timing is right. Georgia begins harvesting their crop in mid/late May. Production shifts to North Carolina and California by June. With the addition of several growers and expansion of existing growers in the southeast, Wish Farms represents a large portion of volume in the region.
“Mexico is getting ready to wind down the season and will most probably do so by the end of May. But the domestic season starts about the end of May so it should be a good transition,” said Jose Saca, Wish Farms Director of Caneberries.
Mexican blackberries had a challenging time during March and April. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, panic-buying and pantry-hoarding of non-perishables were themes in the early weeks of the shutdown. As cities start to ease restrictions and consumers find a new normal, Wish Farms anticipates better, consistent demand with foot traffic in grocery stores and restaurants increasing.
“Our expectation is that consumers will come out of the stay-at-home hibernation craving fresh fruits and vegetables,” Saca says. “Retailers are starting to see the demand for the fruit go up and blackberries are a key part of their berry program.”
The company anticipates promotions available throughout the season, especially during peak volume in early to mid-June. Consumers will find Wish Farms’ newly refreshed labels featuring a bright pink gingham pattern that accentuates the natural color of the blackberries. The label also incorporates their “Feel Good. Eat Berries. Make A Difference.” messaging. Through the new Wish Farms app, augmented reality brings the label to life. For each app download, the company will donate a meal to those in the community who need it most.